Parenting in the age of Facebook is a fair mix of triumphs and tribulations. Yet, perhaps the best part of sharing parenting woes is the chorus of “been theres” one gets in return. This was the case for Brittany Berry, mom to four-year-old Sadie, whose “poop slide” adventures led to one widely shared, and very relatable, post. Berry’s story of her covered-in-poo daughter has gained more than 350,000 shares and 650,000 reactions to date, proving that no situation is too gross for a mom to handle.
It all started one regular day on the playground for Sadie and her sister Layla. Their mom, who had just finished her run and was trying to catch a rare spot of rest, sat on a bench nearby. Before too long, Berry noticed her youngest’s pants looked wet and, upon further inspection, realized it was more than just a number-one situation. She wrote, “I’m talking on[e] of them poops you usually see in a newborn, where it’s all up then back and down their legs and you contemplate just throwing the whole baby away.“
Not Enough Wipes for This Mess
Berry set to work cleaning up Sadie’s “poop-trophe” but found she only had four wet wipes on hand, a completely inadequate number for the mess she was facing. She scoured the van for more wipes, to no avail. The only thing she could do was strip Sadie down and cover her in a blanket until she could get her to the nearest hose, car wash, or bathtub. That’s when things got really interesting. As Berry turned to wrap her baby in a blanket, she discovered Sadie had sprinted back to the slide for one last ride — covered head to toe in dookie.
As Berry whisked her girls back home, she knew she had to contend with the neighborhood slide. “There’s no way I’m leaving my kid’s slug trail of possibly contagious feces on this playground so some other kid can get sick,” she explained. She rushed back to the park with cleaning supplies and set to the task, not noticing the family of onlookers watching and waiting to take to the playground. When she was satisfied the job was done, she turned to leave, realizing that now she herself was covered in Sadie’s excrement. In a final blow to her dignity, she had no choice but to pull off her top and drive home in her skivvies.
Parenting Wins, Fails, and Everything In-Between
Berry’s post was framed as a warning to those contemplating parenting, concluding, “if you aren’t mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to roll around in another person’s feces…” you may not be cut out for the demands of child-rearing. However, most of the replies to her post have been parents wanting to trade war stories. Amanda Kay Goble, a friend of Berry’s, stated, “Honey, you speak the truth only! That’s real life!!” Poster John Jennifer Masters noted, “I have laughed and laughed after reading this story! I have been right where you were today!!! Thank you for sharing!!!”
According to the Pew Center for Research, Berry and her commenters, who trade stories on social media, are in the majority. A 2015 survey concluded that 75% of parents use some form of social media, with mothers slightly more active than fathers, and with most respondents expressing that social media is a channel for giving and receiving support with other parents. One key finding determined, “42% of these parents have received social or emotional support from their online networks about a parenting issue in the last 30 days.”
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